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Lower blood pressure naturally with pumpkin
A healthy diet can help to lower blood pressure naturally. Some foods are particularly good for this. According to a recent study, pumpkin is one of those foods. Regardless of whether it is pumpkin meat or pumpkin seeds - the research group believes that a blood pressure reduction of up to 20 percent is possible if you regularly include pumpkin products in your diet.
The American Heart Association (AHA) is one of the largest organizations dedicated to the fight against cardiovascular diseases. An AHA research group recently examined the effects of pumpkin dishes on high blood pressure. A regular supply of pumpkin meat or pumpkin seeds in the diet reduced the blood pressure in the animal model by 20 percent. The results were published in the journal "Hypertension".
Pumpkin has long been an insider tip for lowering blood pressure
Although it has long been suspected that the components of the pumpkin could have a positive effect on blood pressure, this relationship has not yet been investigated in a larger study. The team around Dr. Soweto Thomas from Tuskegee University in Alabama has now taken on this task. "Until now, no one had examined the effect of pumpkin meat on high blood pressure," said the biomedical scientist.
Blood pressure was reduced by 20 percent
The team added rat meat and pumpkin seeds to the rats' diets for eight weeks. The proportion made up four percent of the total calories. After eight weeks, the rats were found to have 20 percent lower blood pressure than a control group of rats who did not receive pumpkin food.
Almost half of American adults have high blood pressure
Like Dr. Thomas emphasizes that almost half of American adults are now affected by high blood pressure. According to the German Hypertension League, 20 to 30 million people are affected in Germany - around a third of the population. Hypertension is a dangerous risk factor for serious heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
A man would have to eat that much pumpkin
The pumpkin, for example, is also recommended by the DASH diet, which was specially developed to reduce blood pressure. Dr. Thomas explains that humans would have to consume around 150 to 200 grams of pumpkin meat and around 30 to 40 grams of pumpkin seeds daily in order to achieve the same conditions as in the experiment with the rats. The rats received their daily pumpkin portion in powder form. Pumpkin meat and seeds were freeze-dried and then ground.
Where does the hypotensive effect come from?
Professor Judith Wylie-Rosett from the study team sees the healthy ingredients in the pumpkin as the reason for the hypotensive effect. Pumpkins are rich in beta-carotene and a good source of potassium and other nutrients that support lower blood pressure.
Can the results be transferred to humans?
Regardless of the study, the pumpkin’s hypotensive effect was discovered by other nutrition experts around the world. However, it is currently not known whether daily pumpkin consumption actually lowers blood pressure in humans to the same degree as in rats. "With an animal model, we can never really say that exactly the same thing would happen to humans," Thomas sums up. Nevertheless, numerous studies have already proven in humans that nutritional interventions can make a real difference in blood pressure and overall health. (vb)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek
- Soweto Thomas: The Role of Pumpkin Flesh in Reducing Mean Arterial Pressure in a Genetic Rat Model for Hypertension, Hypertension, Vol. 74, 2019, ahajournals.org
- American Heart Association (AHA): Pumpkin pulp, seeds lower blood pressure in rat study (accessed: 07.09.2019), heart.org
- German Hypertension League: high blood pressure in numbers (accessed: 07.09.2019), hochdruckliga.de